Cronulla Sharks coach Peter Sharp claims the speed of play in the NRL is out of control and blamed it for his side’s fifth loss of the season against Manly earlier today.
Stricter rules on holding attackers down once tackled has seemingly increased the speed at which the ball is played. Critics believe this unfairly favours the side who dominate possession as it is easier to score.
That theory was almost perfectly proved in the first half today when the Sea Eagles dominated possession and opened up a 20-point lead at the interval.
Sharp said: “We need to be a lot better. It was embarrassing for us, that first half. It was a big game for us in terms of the big picture. We were way off the pace. We didn’t perform accordingly.
“[I am] terribly disappointed. As far as energy levels goes other teams have enthusiasm and we don’t have it week to week. They were the best opposition for us to play this week. They are a great team. I was looking forward to playing Manly, I’m not sure about the players. We are not aiming up.
“We need to start winning some games. The inconsistency in form is the biggest worry for me. For various reasons we can’t get traction to start our season.
“The game is crazy. If [the opposition] gets possession they can blow you away. We did it to the Warriors last week. You need to change that with your actions. You need to turn the tide of possession.
“The speed of the game is out of control. We need to find a better balance than what is happening. I might be making excuses for us.”